Monday Mashup 7

Monday Mashup 7

Patents, Donations, Allergy House, Tier System, TV, Halloween

A bite sized update from the world of allergies & food.

Happy Monday! 

Welcome to issue #7 of our bi-monthly newsletter.

In this short newsletter I’ll be keeping you updated on our journey to make eating out with allergies easy as well as other tasty chunks from the food and allergy world. I’ll also keep you informed on what our community is saying along with expert opinions from within the industry, recipes and much, much more!

This is a newsletter for you, made by you – our allergy community.

Onto the updates…

The World of Eating Out

As we work towards creating a place for you to find, rate and share allergy friendly restaurants, I want to keep you updated as we go. The feedback from you is so, so important and allows us to shape the website to work exactly the way you need it to so thank you. Our goal is to build the first Allergy Friendly Restaurant Guide in the UK!

Here are the things we’ve been working on…

More reviews:
Last week we set a goal to get 50 allergy reviews from people who have eaten out in Liverpool. We ALMOST got there with 48 reviews – it’s a bittersweet feeling.  We set a goal which stretched us and definitely got more than thought we would have! But we missed it by such a small margin 😫 Still very pleased that we managed to start building the foundation and a huge thank you to those that left their reviews. 

The next 2 weeks – what we’re going to be working on: 

  • Making the review site faster and more secure – now we’re at the stage where we’ll be getting more visitors, we need to make sure the website can handle everything!
  • More reviews – a smaller target of 25 new reviews for the next issue as I’m taking some time off this week (again 😬). 

Food For Thought

🥄 In Mashup 6, I shared research from Dr Kari Nadeau who heads Stanfords Allergy Research Centre. In her Q&A, she mentioned that Stanford patented a powdered product that can be mixed with baby food to expose your little one to various food proteins in an effort to prevent the development of food allergies. There wasn’t any mention of what the product was but after a bit of digging, I found it! SpoonfulOne seems to be the commercial product that’s been spun off the back of the patent. Their products include 90% of the food groups that account for the most common allergies. They’ve recently launched a virtual trial to study real world applications of early food allergen introduction. Definitely something to keep an eye on.

As great as all this research is, it’s slightly frustrating to see that it’s all coming out of the US. The treatments and learnings will eventually make their way over to the UK but we should also be leading on the cutting edge. Food allergies need to be a global effort and I would love the UK to be on the forefront of that. I assume the lack of research comes down to a lack of funding and incentives – which seems surprising given the almost £1bn yearly cost of allergies to the NHS. Surely prevention research is in the government’s best interest? One shining light is the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation donating £400,000 to Southampton University to fund allergy further training. The countdown until the new labelling laws the family campaigned for will also be coming into practice one year from now. 

🧹 And last week, Allergy UK held it’s Indoor Allergy Awareness Week. This article kicked off the week with a checklist on keeping a healthy home. A surprising stat shows the importance of managing allergens within the home – at least 9,000 deaths each year are attributed to indoor air pollution! And indoor air pollution is 2-10 times higher than outdoor levels! Most of the checklist are things which are obvious but easily overlooked. It’s a good reminder of the fundamentals for those of us that live with both food and environmental allergies. AllergyUK have also created this interactive ‘Allergy House’. It shares an introduction to an allergy family and explores how to manage different allergens within the house. Something for your younger ones.

📉 After the opposition from the hospitality industry against the government’s tier system, early data shows how each tier has affected sales. Tier 1, although hit hard, fares much better than hospitality businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 where the rules become stricter around social mixing and when alcohol can be served. Drink sales see the sharpest decline with food sales not seeing much change from Tier 2 to 3. What will be interesting is if the number of coronavirus cases start to decline in Tier 3 regions or whether the hospitality industry is right – that they are being made the scapegoats.

📺 If you’re looking for something to watch, Channel 4 are airing a new show, Food Unwrapped Investigates. In the show, Kate Quilton investigates some of the biggest and most shocking headlines in the food industry. The first episode which is airing tonight, focuses on the complexities and challenges of food allergies. She speaks to some well known faces including the family of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse mentioned above and Julianne Ponan, the founder of Creative Nature allergy friendly snacks. 

🎃 And as a reminder, in Mashup 5 I shared a US study which found that Halloween accounts for an 85% increase in peanut induced anaphylactic incidents compared to the rest of the year. The study is based in the US but I’d imagine there is an uptick in the number of allergy incidents in the UK too. For those of you who’s little ones will be out scaring the neighbours this weekend, this is a reminder to be extra vigilant!! And happy Trick or Treating!

Community Recommendation

This week’s recommendation comes from Vidhya Kasilingam. Take it away Vidhya…

When I think of which restaurant I’ve had the best experience at Maray springs to mind. They’re a small group of restaurants in the Liverpool area and have really got the allergy experience right.

Their staff are so reliable, friendly and completely willing to make dining with them a stress-free experience. They know the dishes well enough to recommend alternatives and modifications to suit my needs. I eat there whenever I visit Liverpool as I have complete peace of mind knowing I’ll be well looked after. 

My personal favourite – Disco Cauliflower without the almond flakes for a tree nut/peanut free option 😋

If you have a particular restaurant, especially a local independent that you want to help shine a light on and celebrate their effort, please reply to this email with the restaurant’s name and why you think they’re great!

End Note

As the newsletter grows, I expect the content to evolve as well . One thing I want to keep consistent throughout the journey though, is that it’s driven by you. If you have any feedback or want to share anything please get it touch. I read and reply to every email so make sure to reach out!

And as always, should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through. 

Speak soon,


P.S. To follow our journey and get these updates, sign up to our newsletter here.

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